1 NEWSLETTER N 1 APRIL 2013 Towards A Real European Citizenship Welcome to the Let Me Vote! Newletter Philippe Cayla, President of Européens Sans Frontières THE INITIATIVE 1. EUROPEAN YEAR OF CITIZENS Vincent Mabillard 2. LET ME VOTE: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS Alain Brun 3 VOTING RIGHTS OF EU CITIZENS IN FRANCE Lucie Cazin 4 NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED (MAP) 5 FIND THE INITIATIVE IN YOUR LANGUAGE! I would like to welcome you to the first edition of our newsletter. It has been several weeks since we submitted our initiative to the competent authorities in Brussels and I wanted to keep you personally updated about the latest developments of Let Me Vote! In March 2013, we were finally able to overcome the administrative procedures necessary for the validation of our European Citizens Initiative. It is now possible to sign our initiative on our new website: Each vote counts, so please go to our website as soon as possible to confirm your support. You also have the opportunity to get involved more actively in order to promote Let Me Vote! You can follow us on the social media, as we are present on Twitter as well as Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/letmevote). Please feel free to share the information with your colleagues and friends and encourage them to support our initiative! More recently, national committees have been set up in several European countries in order to collaborate with us. If you are interested in joining or helping them with their promotion activities, we will give you the chance to contact them directly. For any further information, please send your messages to the following address: Once again, I would like to take advantage of this editorial to thank all the people who have already rallied behind our project. As the campaign is now officially under way, we need your help to reach the million signatures required before January In this, the European Year of Citizens, let us all work together towards a more democratic Europe! 6 CONTACT
2 NEWSLETTER N 1 APRIL 2013 The European Year of Citizens 2013 The European Union has declared 2013 the European Year of Citizens, highlighting the 20 th birthday of the Maastricht Treaty, which gave birth to European citizenship. This project aims to raise Europeans awareness of and interest in their rights, so that they can fully benefit from them and get involved more actively in the EU. Therefore, citizens will receive more detailed information about their political rights and will be invited to take part in numerous events throughout the year. Several Europe for citizens points have been set up for contact purposes (http://bit.ly/xin5m9). In order to make Europe more democratic, we need a Europe-wide debate with everyone s active participation! The Rights of European Citizens Europeans have taken part in the making of history: the voluntary union of nations which used to be hostile to each other in the recent past. This multinational integration has led to a wide range of freedoms, including the right of free movement of people, goods, services and capital. But what about the political rights of the Europeans? In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty introduced the notion of European citizenship. It has not replaced national citizenship. Each EU member state retains the right to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality. The legislative act confirms and even extends some measures as follows:! the right to move and reside freely within the European Union;! the protection by embassies and consular authorities in any EU member State when there is no diplomatic representation in a country;! the right to stand as a candidate in and to vote for municipal and European Parliament elections;! the right to submit a petition to the European Parliament;! the right to complain about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the EU to the European Ombudsman. The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) The Lisbon Treaty (2009) partially responds to the democratic deficit in the EU. It adds a dose of participative democracy to existing European legislation. Europeans now have the right to register an ECI and invite the European Commission to put forward a legislative proposal. Many criteria have to be met: for instance, the ECI needs to collect one million signatures in a minimum of 7 countries in significant numbers (e.g votes in France). The ECI must fall within the areas of competence of the European Union (http://bit.ly/mwq6jq). In this context, it seems even more important to support our initiative, as Let Me Vote! is all about the issue of voting rights within the European Union!
3 NEWSLETTER! N 1 AVRIL 2013! Let Me Vote : Latest updates In the last 15 months, the citizens committee of Let Me Vote has achieved an incredible amount to get to where we stand now. Our initiative is now officially open for signatures! These are the stages we have already been through. First stages First of all, a committee of citizens had to be set up. Therefore, a significant number of people had to be gathered around the idea of full voting rights for European citizens who are not nationals of the EU Member State in which they live. This requirement led us to set up national committees in several European countries at least 7 according to European law (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Belgium in our case). Secondly, many contacts have been established with three public institutions: the European Commission, the Luxemburg public authorities in charge of evaluating our initiative s software and finally the French authorities regulating individual data protection, the Commission informatique et libertés. As early as 1 April 2012, the exact day on which the apposite European legislation entered into force, our proposed initiative was submitted to the European Commission, which was in charge of verifying its admissibility. A positive response was been received in mid-may This indicated that the object of our initiative could be managed by the Commission. In other words, the change proposed by Let Me Vote concerns matters in which the EU is competent. This decision, published on the ECI webpage of the Commission, launched the 12-month deadline to collect 1 million signatures. Difficulties and withdrawal of the initiative At the time, we were not able to start gathering signatures, as Let Me Vote did not fulfill the conditions required: the validation of our collection system from one Member State was missing. Our experience, together with the experience of other ECIs launched at the same time, showed that such criteria are beyond a citizens committee s competence. The setting up and maintenance of the software were just too expensive to afford for a small association like ours. This dramatic situation convinced the European Commission to provide its own server based in Luxemburg: signatures and all other data related will be held there. This favour from the Commission will only be afforded to the first ECIs. We still had to assemble a dossier in which we clarified to the public authorities of Luxemburg the kind of measures that will be taken in order to secure our software and collection system. One year after the first submission of our initiative, we have just received the approval of these authorities, seized in February 2012!
4 NEWSLETTER! N 1 AVRIL 2013! New submission of the initiative By the end of last year, many months having been lost regarding the signatures collection process, we decided to withdraw our initiative. In this sense, we have followed the advice of the European Commission. A few months later, we have submitted the same text again, as our steps towards the validation of our collection system were progressing. Based on this new submission, we have received a second positive response from the European Commission on the admissibility of our initiative on 13 January The last few months have not been wasted. We have sustained good relationships with numerous partners. As a result, we have received the support of many European and national associations, including the Union of European Federalists (UEF). We are pursuing the dialogue with all the people who are interested in getting involved more actively or willing to support our project. The collection of signatures for Let Me Vote! will end up on 28 January The Commission informatique et libertés, the third institution directly involved before we could launch the collection process, has also validated the content of our project in February As the person in charge of our committee of citizens resides in France, the protection of individual data falls under the French law Informatique et Liberté, following European directive 95/46 on the matter. The data collected will be only used for the purpose of our ECI and will be destroyed by the first quarter of Moreover, every single person who have signed the initiative retain the right to access their personal data. The chaotic and sinuous way we have followed can be explained by the complexity and the administrative hassle of the European Parliament and Council. The latter have prioritised the security measures to be guaranteed by the committees of citizens, without any consideration on how they could help those committees. Therefore, it will prove extremely difficult for the European Commission to overcome the essential elements that are lacking in this legislative act.
5 NEWSLETTER! N 1 AVRIL 2013 The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in France There are different voting rights in France according to whether they concern a French citizen living abroad, an European citizen or a non-european citizen. Although there is a heated debate about voting rights for non-european citizens in France, the Let Me Vote European Citizens Initiative aims to extend the right to vote of European Citizens to regional and national elections in their country of residence. Its goal, thus, is not to oppose freedom of movement and respect of everyone s rights. French people living abroad do not lose their right to vote in France. They have the possibility to vote at the polling station set up in a consulate or an embassy for presidential and legislative elections, assemblies of French people abroad and referendums. If they want to vote in local elections, they have to be registered on the electoral roll of a French town. They can be registered both at the consulate and in a French municipality. The right to vote of European citizens who are established in a Member States of which they are not nationals was set out in 1992 in article 8 of the Maastricht Treaty. This gives them the right to vote in local and European elections. Two directives were adopted so that the Member States could implement the new regulations. Council Directive 94/80/EC of 19 December 1994 lays down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in local elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals. This directive was transposed into French law n 98/404 of 25 May 1998, a little more than two years after the end of the implementation period which finished on 1 January Very few countries transposed this directive within the established time-frame, nevertheless, France was the last country to enforce it: on 11 and 18 March 2001, for the first time, non French European citizens in France were able to vote in municipal elections. They can also stand as town councillors but cannot be mayors or deputies or take part in senatorial elections. They have the possibility to register in both their State of residence and the one of which they are nationals, but they cannot hold office in two towns. With this transposition, France chose a strict reading of the directive. Indeed, European citizens can only vote in municipal elections whereas some countries chose to extend this right to vote to other local elections. Council Directive 93/109/EC of 6 December 1993 lays down detailed arrangements which regard exercising a right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament for citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals. In France, this directive was transposed into law n on 5 February 1994.!
6 NEWSLETTER N 1 APRIL 2013 European Union Map Minimum number of statements of support required by Member State (in thousands) Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Presence Switzerland Germany France Italia, United Kingdom Spain Poland Romania Netherlands Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal Sweden Austria Bulgaria 9750 Denmark, Slovakia, Finland 9000 Ireland, Lithuania 6750 Latvia 6000 Slovenia 4500 Estonia, Cyprus, Luxemburg, Malta Source: Active Citizenship and Representation in Europe: Towards Transnational Democracy?
7 Sign our initiative now! Follow us: Contact us: Utilisez votre droit d initiative pour obtenir le droit de vote européen! Let Me Vote! est une initiative citoyenne européenne organisée par l association Européens sans frontières. Cette initiative a pour objet de réduire le déficit démocratique en donnant à tout Européen résidant dans un autre pays européen le droit de voter non seulement aux élections municipales et européennes mais aussi aux élections régionales et nationales. Let me vote! ist eine Initiative mit dem Ziel das Demokratiedefizit in Europa zu reduzieren. Sie will jedem europäischen Bürger, der in einem anderen Land lebt, das Wahlrecht im Land seines Wohnortes ermöglichen. Und zwar nicht nur bei Gemeinde- und Europawahlen, sondern auch bei regionalen und nationalen Wahlen. Let me vote! is an initiative the aim of which is to reduce the democratic deficit in Europe. Let us give each European citizen living in another EU State the right to vote not only in municipal and European elections but also in regional and national elections of his or her country of residence. Het is voor Europese burgers nu onmogelijk om te stemmen bij nationale verkiezingen in hun land van residentie, als zij niet de nationaliteit van dat land hebben. Het initiatief Let me Vote! vraagt de Europese Commissie actief kiesrecht in te voeren voor alle Europese burgers in de lidstaat waar zij wonen. Let me vote! es una iniciativa que tiene por objetivo reducir el déficit democrático en Europa y dar a cada ciudadano europeo el derecho a votar tanto en las elecciones municipales y europeas como regionales y nacionales del país de la UE en el que reside. Let me vote to inicjatywa maj!ca na celu zwi"kszenie znaczenia demokracji. Dajmy prawo do g#osowania ka$demu obywatelowi Uni Europejskiej, rezyduj!cemu na terenie innego pa%stwa cz#onkowskiego - nie tylko w wyborach samorz!dowych i do europarlamentu, lecz tak$e tych na poziomie regionalnym i narodowym w kraju sta#ego pobytu.
8 A Let me vote! egy, az európai demokratikus deficit csökkentésére irányuló kezdeményezés. Adjuk meg a más európai országban él& európaiaknak a szavazathoz való jogot! Nem csak az önkormányzati és az európai, hanem az aktuális tartózkodási országában a regionális és az országos választásokon is. Let me vote! è un iniziativa il cui scopo è di ridurre il deficit democratico in Europa. Stiamo cercando di dare ad ogni Europeo che vive in un altro paese Europeo il diritto di voto. Non solo per le comunali e le europee ma anche per le elezioni regionali e nazionali del proprio paese di residenza. Vyu'ite Va(e právo iniciatívy na obdr'anie európskeho volebného práva! Let me vote! je iniciatíva organizovaná asociáciou Européens sans frontières (Európan bez hraníc), ktorej cie)om je zní'i* demokratick+ deficit v Európe. Umo'nime Európanom 'ijúcim v inej krajine EU voli* nielen v obecn+ch a európskych vo)bách, ale aj v regionálnych a národn+ch vo)bách krajiny ich trvalého pobytu. Lad mig stemme! er et initiativ der har til formål at reducere det demokratiske underskud i Europa. Lad os give enhver europæisk borger bosiddende i et andet europæisk land retten til at stemme. Ikke kun ved kommunale og europæiske valg, men ligeledes ved regionale og nationale valg i det land den vedrørte borger er bosat. Let me vote! (,-./ /) µ81 9:/;<=<>.51 9<> 19<6?<975 6;3 µ75/63 67?CD7 E>:/915< 9<.5;3 67 C..<?:C;<B µ-.<b ;3B E>:/91F?GB H0/63B IJ8 µi0< 6;8B ;<98?-B?18 7>:/91F?-B 7?.<K-B 1..C?18 6;8B 97:847:781?-B?18 7D08?-B 7?.<K-B. Hääle - õigus! Selle algatuse eesmärk on vähendada Demokraatlikku puudujääki Euroopas. Annaksime igale Euroopa elanikule teises Euroopa riigis õiguse hääletamiseks. Mitte ainult oma riigi omavalitsuse ja parlamendi valimistel vaid ka Euroopa piirkonna ja rahvusvahelistel valimistel.!"#$ %$ &'$()*$+! L MNMOMPQMRS OLTPUS VS NSWSTM VLWXYZSQM[NMPQ VL\MOMQ R ]RZX^S. _LYS VS VSVLW ^ZSRXQX NS RXQ NS R`LYM LVMN ]RZX^LLO ^ZLaMRSRSU R VZbcS `QZSNS [TLNYS. _L `SWX NS WL`QNM M LRZX^Ld`YM MeaXZM, NX M NS ZLcMXNSTNM M NSOMXNSTNM MeaXZM R `QZSNSQS R YXPQX fmrll.,aujiet man balsot! (Let me vote!) ir iniciatgva, kuras mhriis ir samazinjt demokrjtijas deficgtu Eiropj. Dosim ikvienam Eiropas iedzgvotjjam, kur( dzgvo citj Eiropas valstg tiesgbas balsot ar tjdiem pa(iem nosacgjumiem kj (gs valsts pilsokiem. Un ne tikai pa(valdgbu un Eiropas Parlamenta vhlh(anjs, bet arg mgtnes valsts relionjlajjs un nacionjlajjs vhlh(anjs.
9 Let me Vote! on aloite, jonka tavoitteena on edistää demokratiaa Euroopassa. Tahdomme antaa muissa EU-maissa asuville eurooppalaisille mahdollisuuden äänestää kunnallisvaaleissa sekä muissa Eurooppaa ja asuinmaata koskevissa äänestyksissä. Låt mig rösta! är ett initiativ som syftar till att minska det demokratiska underskottet i EU. Låt oss ge alla europeiska medborgare som bor i ett annat europeiskt land rätt att rösta. Inte bara i kommunalval och val till Europaparlamentet, men också i regionala och nationella val, även i sitt nya europeiska hemland. Vyu'ijte Va(e právo iniciativy na obdr'ení evropského volebního práva! Let me vote! je iniciativa organizovaná asociací Européens sans frontières (Evropan bez hranic), její' cílem je sní'it demokratick+ deficit v Evropm. Umo'níme Evropannm 'ijícím v jiné zemi EU volit nejen v obecních a evropsk+ch volbách, ale také v regionálních a národních volbách zemm jejich trvalého pobytu. Leiskite man balsuoti! yra iniciatyva, kurios tikslas - suma'inti demokratijos trokum! Europoje. Suteikime kiekvienam europiepiui apsistojusiam kitoje valstybqje teise balsuoti ne tik savivlados ar Europos rinkimuose, tapiau taip pat ir regioniniuose bei nacionaliniuose jo gyvenamosios vietos rinkimuose. Use o seu direito d iniciativa para obter o direito de votaçao europeu! Let Me Vote! é uma iniciativa de cidadania Europeia organizada pela Associaçao de Europeus sem fronteiras. Esta iniciativa tem como objectivo de reduzir o défice democrático, dando a cada europeu que reside num outro pais europeu o direito de voto não só nas eleiçoes municipais, mas também para as eleições regionais e nacionais. Las--m- s- votez! este o iniriativs care dorette reducerea deficitului democratic al Uniunii Europene, acordând fiecsrui cetsrean european care locuiette într-un alt stat membru dreptul de vot nu doar la alegerile municipale ti europene, ci ti la cele regionale ti narionale. "Let me vote!" je iniciativa, ki ima za cilj zmanj(ati demokratipni deficit v Evropi. Dajmo vsakemu v drugi evropski dr'avi 'ivepemu Evropejcu volilno pravico! Ne le na nivoju obpinskih ali volitev v Evropski parlament, temvep tudi na regijskih in nacionalnih volitvah v dr'avi v kateri 'ivi. Is tionscanamh é 'Lig Dom mo Vóta a chaitheamh!' a bhfuil sé mar aidhm aige easnamh daonlathach na heorpa a laghdú. Ba cheart go mbeadh ceart vótála ag gach saoránach Eorpach ní hamháin i dtoghcháin bhardasacha agus Eorpacha ach i dtoghcháin réigiúnacha agus náisiúnta i dtír chónaithe an saoránaigh araon.
10 Contact Européens sans frontières Let Me Vote ECI Board Philippe Cayla President Catherine Colonna Vice-President Project Coordinators Lucie Cazin Vincent Mabillard Catriona Seth Vice-president Alain Brun Secretary General Guillaume de Maupeou Treasurer Stefan de Vries Media Officer Christer Eck IT security Officer Marie Colegrave-Juge Delegate Members of the Committee of Citizens Monique Veaute Jürgen Vahlberg Reinder Rustema Lydia Vazquez Jimenez Nicolas Delaby
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